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The Growth of The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company is an American multinational entertainment conglomerate based in California. Today it is one of the biggest and most well-known brands in the entire world. In this article, I will dive into the history and growth of one of the largest media and entertainment companies.

The Origins of Disney

In 1923, a man by the name of Walt Disney and his brother, Roy, started the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in Hollywood, California. From a young age, Walt was an incredibly talented cartoon artist, drawing for multiple publications. After working at the Kansas City Film Ad Company, Walt became interested in animation. Soon after, Walt moved to Los Angeles and went on to sell a short film called Alice’s Wonderland. Walt wanted to make a six-movie series from the original Alice’s Wonderland and thus started his company. The Alice Comedies series ended up doing well commercially.

After the Alice Comedies series, Disney created its most iconic series of all time in 1928: Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse became so popular that Disney was able to produce a movie about the character. Walt started to work on this movie, but unfortunately, the project went 400% over the allocated budget, soon known as “Disney’s Folly.” Despite this massive failure, Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs three years later, and it broke many records. From that point, Disney produced multiple phenomenal, record-breaking films.

The Growth of Disney

Disney decided he wanted to expand the company further, so they decided to start making nature documentaries in addition to the movies. Walt had the idea of creating an amusement park in order to make  “the happiest place on earth.” To accomplish this task, however, Disney needed a lot of capital. Even with the funding from his private company and the loan taken from his own life insurance, he still was not able to get enough funding to open his amusement park. After making some deals with other companies, Disney was able to open his amusement park, Disneyland, in 1955. The gross income of the company rose from $27 million to $70 million five years after the amusement park opened.

Unfortunately, in the mid-1960s, Walt Disney passed away, and, almost five years later, his brother, Roy Disney, also passed. After their deaths, the company struggled for a while. In the 1980s, the company was revitalized under Michael Eisner. Eisner planned to make Disney a major film studio. Over the 1980s, the Walt Disney Company released numerous hit films, but its biggest was The Little Mermaid, released in 1989. The movie made over $200 million at the box office and won numerous film awards. After Disney grew back into the powerhouse company it was, Eisner retired. Bob Igner replaced him and grew the company even further, purchasing Marvel Entertainment and creating TV channels for children to watch entertaining new shows.

Disney Today

As of today, the Walt Disney Company is a company with a $238.9 billion market cap. The annual revenue of the company has gone up 22.7% from last year, and the gross profit has increased by 27.07%. The media giant just continues to grow over the years.

Ameiya Pednekar
Ameiya Pednekar
Ameiya is an honors student at the University of Georgia studying Management Information Systems and International Business. His passions include programming, writing, and media creation.

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